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How to Manage WordPress Comment Notification Emails

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Do you want to improve your WordPress comment notification emails?

Comments drive discussion and user engagement on many blogs. However, WordPress doesn’t do such a great job when it comes to notifying users about comment activity.

In this article, we will show you how to better manage WordPress comment notification emails to boost user activity on your website.

How to manage WordPress comment notification emails

Why Improve WordPress Comment Notification Emails

Comments are an important element of many WordPress websites, particularly on news sites and WordPress blogs. More comment activity means a more engaged audience which results in more page views and ultimately more revenue.

However, the comment system that comes with every WordPress website is fairly limited. It sends comment notifications only to site administrators and article authors. Apart from that, there isn’t a default option for other site users to be notified of new comments.

Wouldn’t it be nice if users were able to get comment notifications for the posts they like or when someone replies to a comment they left?

That said, let’s see how you can enhance the default WordPress comment system and notification emails for a more engaging user experience on your website.

The Default Comment Notification Options in WordPress

By default, WordPress does not have an option to send notifications to commenters.

However, it does have an option to send email notifications to site administrators when a new comment is published and when a comment is held for moderation.

You can view these options by going to Settings » Discussion from your WordPress dashboard and navigating to the ‘Email me whenever’ section.

Email me whenever settings

Both these notifications are only sent to the site administrators. However, WordPress also sends an email notification to the post author about new comments.

If you get a lot of comments on your website, you might not want to receive email notifications for all comments held for moderation. You can simply uncheck the box here to disable those.

How to Let Users Know When Their Comment is Approved

If a user’s comment is held for moderation, they will see a message telling them so. However, they will have no idea whether you approve it or not without returning to your site.

Unfortunately, many of these users never return to your website to check, so they won’t ever know that you approved their comments.

You can fix this by using the Comment Approved Notifier Extended plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Comment Approved Notifier Extended will notify users when their comment is approved. It works right out of the box, and there are no additional settings you need to configure.

You can also see our list of best plugins to improve WordPress comments.

How to Allow Users to Subscribe to Comments in WordPress

In addition to not knowing if their comment was approved, commenters will not be notified about replies, either.

Once they leave a comment, they will have to manually visit your website again to see if someone has replied.

To solve this, you need to install and activate Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin. For more details, see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

It allows your users to subscribe to comments on any article with or without leaving comments. Users can also easily unsubscribe at any time.

StCr settings in WordPress

For detailed step-by-step instructions, see our article on how to allow users to subscribe to comments in WordPress.

How to Allow Users to Subscribe to Just their Own Comments in WordPress

Many users may not want to receive notifications for all comments on an article. However, they may want to know if someone replied only to their own comments.

You can add this feature as well using the same Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin. First, you’ll need to install and activate the plugin. If you need help, then please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Next, simply visit the StCR » Comment Form in your WordPress dashboard. From here, click on ‘Yes’ next to the ‘Advanced Subscription’ option.

StCr settings in WordPress

Users will now see a new option under the comment box whether they’d like to subscribe to all comments or just their own comments.

For more details, see our article on how to notify users of replies to their own comments in WordPress.

How to Allow Authors to Subscribe to Other Author’s Posts

If you run a multi-author blog, then other authors may want to keep up with discussions across your website. If you already have comment subscriptions enabled, then each author can manually go and subscribe to comments.

However, if you want certain users to receive all comment notifications, then you can do this with Better Notifications for WordPress plugin. For more details, then please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Once the plugin is active, you can head to Notifications » Add New from your WordPress dashboard and can enter a title for your notification at the top.

Next, you can select ‘New Comment’ from the ‘Notification for’ dropdown menu. After that, simply add the user roles that will receive these notifications in the ‘Send To’ field.

Comment notifications for certain user roles

The plugin also offers an option to send notifications to the post’s author and even exclude user roles from receiving email notifications for new comments.

How to Create Custom Comment Notification in WordPress

Want to create your own custom comment notifications in WordPress? Custom notifications can allow you to replace the default WordPress notification with your own.

First, you will need to install and activate the Better Notifications for WordPress plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit the Notifications » Add New page from your WordPress admin panel to create your custom comment notifications.

Create a custom notification

You can edit the notifications for new comments, comments awaiting moderation, and comment replies. Additionally, you can send notifications to any user role or to individual users.

The plugin also lets you add email addresses manually that are not even connected to a user on the site.

You have the option to completely customize the comment notification sent by WordPress and use shortcodes inside the email text to add custom tags.

For more details, see our article on how to add better custom notifications in WordPress.

How to Improve Deliverability of WordPress Email Notifications

All the above tips will fail if your WordPress site fails to send email notifications or if those emails are marked spam by email providers.

To fix WordPress email issues and improve email deliverability, you need to install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, visit the Settings » WP Mail SMTP page to configure plugin settings.

WP Mail SMTP settings

This plugin allows you to use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) to send emails. SMTP is a much better and more reliable method than the default mail function used by WordPress.

It works with any email service that supports SMTP. This includes your free Gmail account as well as Google Workspace, Mailgun, and Sendgrid.

Choose Other SMTP as mailer

For details, see our article on how to use SMTP server to send WordPress emails.

We hope this article helped you learn how to manage WordPress comment notification emails. You may also want to see our ultimate step-by-step guide on improving WordPress speed and performance for beginners and how to start an online store.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

25 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
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  2. Karen Cogan says

    I have a couple of people complaining that they get several notification for the same comment and they don’t want to receive them. How do I disable the comments notifications?

  3. Andrew Cumiskey says

    Hi, I followed the advice to set up a custom email for a new essay comment. (Creating Custom Comment Notification in WordPress)

    Works fine, but i also get the original email from WP too, how can i stop that one coming?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      We would recommend reaching out to the plugin’s support for them to take a look at the possoble issues and assist you.


  4. Sheryl says

    I have the e-mail me when someone comments checked in Settings – Discussion and yet today I left a comment and NO E-Mail was sent to me??? WHY??

  5. Susanna says

    Looking for a simple way to notify commenters when their comment is approved. You recommend the Comment Approved plugin, but it hasn’t been updated in over 2 years and carries a warning in the WP repository. Are you still recommending it?

  6. Pearl says

    Your real name! lol Love your labels. Ok, but seriously, I’ve been searching and searching for a way to fix the issue on my site to allow commenters to receive my replies and FINALLY I know how, thanks to your article. THANK YOU! Now I just need someone to test it out so I know for sure it works! lol

  7. Lasik in dubai says

    I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts.

  8. Roobens says

    Hi guys,

    I downloaded the “subscribe to comments reloaded” plugin a few months ago. Indeed it’s really nice, and now the readers get an email when I respond to their comment. The problem is… For some reason, this plugin creates A LOT of 404 errors. They typically look like this :

    I guy told me “so far I have not found why google add this kind of error. My theory is that since the URL has a value that changes once in a while, google Indexes the website URL and if the value change the page result is gone, therefore google notifies of this error.”

    All those 404 errors are definitely not good… Do you know how I can fix this? Or if there’s another good plugin where readers get notified when I respond to their comments?


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Hi Roobens,

      This is a known issue with subscribe to comments reloaded. You can reach out to plugin author on their GitHub page to learn more. Meanwhile, you can ask Google not to follow or index these links by blocking them in Robots.txt file.


      • Roobens says

        Thank you!

        Sorry I’m not a techie guy, but if I edit my robots.txt file, I have to add this line right?

        Disallow: /comment-subscriptions/

        And all the 404 errors/broken links will be “gone”? There won’t be new ones, and the old ones are going to “disappear” as well? Right now, I also see them in my Search Console.

        Thanks again.

  9. Kim Staley says

    Hi, thank you for this very detailed article. After several years of receiving emails notifying me of comments awaiting approval on my blog posts, my website suddenly stopped sending me notifications. I am not very active on my site, and time would go by and I thought no one was commenting. One day after several weeks, I checked and had a lot of spam comments, and one lonely real comment awaiting approval. I went through the entire process that you give (before seeing your article), and everything looks okay, all set for me to receive email notifications. All plugins and WP theme are updated. My email address still works, as someone just used my contact page and I received that email. I am using the plug in Comments Reloaded. Have you any ideas what could be wrong? Thank you very much!

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